Much like the season that led up to it, the Dancing with the Stars season 14 performances were kind of amazing. The three finalists were all within 1 point of perfect. So who is going to get that Mirror Ball?

With scores so close, the Dancing with the Stars season 14 champion will be decided largely by the popular vote. What will that vote rely on? It’s a combination of season-long performance, finale dances and plain, basic popularity.

So what do we get out of that?

3rd Place: William Levy and Cheryl Burke

It’s a truism in Dancing with the Stars that freestyle dances determine winners. Sure, it doesn’t always hold true, but there is some correlation. And William Levy had the lowest freestyle score. That dance was competent and fun to watch, but it was also kind of basic. William just didn’t have the flair we saw in the other two.

William does still have a few factors in his favor — factors that might up his chances of a higher rank. There’s the sexiness thing. The other two finalists don’t even come close on that. Plus, in some segments of the audience, William Levy is pretty well-known.

But I don’t think it will be enough. William was the least of the Dancing with the Stars season 14 finalists, and that will hurt.

2nd Place: Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd

Donald Driver is the most likely candidate for an upset victory. His dancing in the finale — especially in that fun country freestyle — was impressive. He’s very likable. And Donald is a football player. People like to vote for those football players.

On the other hand, Donald was not the best in the finale, and he was far from the best throughout the season. Maria and Derek (eliminated in the semi-finals) were actually doing better overall than Donald and Peta. Does the audience view Donald Driver as a legitimate champion?

A Donald win is possible. But it will definitely be an upset.

1st Place: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas

Katherine and Mark ruled the Dancing with the Stars season 14 finale. There is no question about that. Both their calmly beautiful paso doble and their swing-insanity freestyle were fully deserving of those perfect scores. It was Mirror Ball-worthy dancing without question.

Add in the fact that Katherine Jenkins has been the unlikely front-runner of season 14, and the momentum is definitely in her favor. The singer hasn’t even had an easy time — it was only last week when viewers thought Katherine might be done due to a back injury.

The one pitfall that could bring down Katherine? Popularity. Unless there are a whole lot more opera fans than I would expect among the Dancing with the Stars audience, Katherine Jenkins started out this season as something of an unknown. This could hurt her in the finale.

Who do you think will win Dancing with the Stars season 14? Who deserves to win? Do you think there will be an upset? Share your comments and vote in our poll below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.